Monthly Archives: December 2013

Internet Spy System Network And Traffic Analysis System (NETRA) Of India Proposed

Internet Spy System Network And Traffic Analysis System (NETRA) Of India ProposedCivil liberty protection in cyberspace is a crucial area that international community and Internet stakeholders must urgently raise before the United Nations. E-surveillance, civil liberties protection in cyberspace and conflict of laws are some of the crucial issues that United Nations must consider on a priority basis Recently, United Nations passed a resolution approving right to privacy in the digital age.

However, India is in no mood of complying with that resolution. India has launched illegal and unconstitutional projects like Aadhar, central monitoring system (CMS), national intelligence grid (Natgrid), crime and criminal tracking networks and systems (CCTNS), etc without any parliamentary oversight and legal frameworks.

In this entire chaos, Indian government is engaging in e-surveillance in India and surveillance of Internet traffic in India. India must reconcile civil liberties and national security requirements that it is otherwise neglecting for long. Instead of achieving this objective, Indian government has declared that an internet surveillance system known as Network and Traffic Analysis System (NETRA) will soon be launched by the Ministry of Defence to detect words like ‘bomb’, ‘blast, ‘attack’ or ‘kill’ within seconds from emails, instant messages, status updates and tweets reports Indian Nerve. The system will also be capable of gauging suspicious voice traffic on Skype and Google Talk.

The spy system has been developed by the Center for Artificial Intelligence & Robotics (CAIR) laboratory under the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO). It is currently being tested by Intelligence Bureau and Cabinet Secretariat and will be deployed to all national security agencies. In fact the Ministry of Home Affairs will soon ask DRDO to deploy more men at CAIR (working with the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT)) to come up with a solution on how to track the internet so that the system can be brought into play as soon as possible.

“Intelligence Bureau and Cabinet Secretariat are currently testing ‘Netra’, which will be deployed by all national security agencies,” says a telecom department note. In a recently held meeting attended by top officials of Cabinet Secretariat, Home Ministry, DRDO, CAIR, Intelligence Bureau, C-DoT and CERT-In the strategy for deployment of Netra was discussed. Also steps to be taken to counter cyber security incidents, vulnerabilities of a system were discussed along with ways to promote safe IT security practices in the country.

A Maximum of three security agencies, including Intelligence Bureau and Cabinet Secretariat, would be allotted storage of 300GB to accommodate intercepted data while an extra space of 100GB will be assigned to other agencies of law enforcement. The establishment of a national scanning and coordination centre is also in the offing it is learnt.

Central Government Permission Is Not Required By CBI To Prosecute Senior Bureaucrats For Corruption Cases Monitored By Supreme Court Of India

Central Government Permission Is Not Required By CBI To Prosecute Senior Bureaucrats For Corruption Cases Monitored By Supreme Court Of IndiaCentral Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is a premier investigation authority of India. Unfortunately, it is not governed by a legal framework that can confer legitimacy to it. An executive order is responsible for its origin that also for the past 50 years.

This is the reason why a Division Bench of Gauhati High Court has held that the very process of setting up the CBI was invalid and unconstitutional. For the time being that decision has been stayed by the Supreme Court of India but this does not absolve the Indian Parliament for enacting suitable legal framework for CBI.

Event he Supreme Court of India has observed that CBI is a caged parrot and asked Indian Government to formulate a law for CBI as soon as possible. Reacting to this deadline, the Indian Government has set up a Group of Ministers (GoM) to draft a law for CBI. However, there seems to be no progress in this direction and even the intentions of Indian Government to make CBI independent and autonomous are now in doubts. The proposed Jan Lokpal Bill is once again testing the legitimacy of Indian Parliament that is in very bad condition.

Now the Supreme Court of India has given a shot in the arms of public activists who are fighting against corruption in India. According to TOI, the Supreme Court on Tuesday (i.e. 17-12-2013) held that no approval from the Centre is required by the CBI to prosecute senior bureaucrats in court-monitored corruption cases.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice RM Lodha gave the CBI power to investigate officers of the rank of joint secretary and above without the Centre’s prior permission in cases where Court is monitoring the probe. Thus the deck has been cleared for the investigative agency to prosecute bureaucrats allegedly involved in coalgate scam without waiting for government’s sanction.

The section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act will not bar the CBI from investigating top bureaucrats in corruption cases into which probes were either directed or being monitored by the apex court, the bench said. The bench had made it clear that the court takes the task of monitoring the investigation “when there is always a lurking doubt that the executive will abuse power”.

Parliament Must Pass Lokpal And Lokayuktas Act, 2011 Tomorrow To Retain Its Respect And Legitimacy

PRAVEEN-DALAL-MANAGING-PARTNER-OF-PERRY4LAW-CEO-PTLBThis is the Guest Column at CJnews India by Praveen Dalal, Managing Partner of Law Firm Perry4Law and the founder of exclusive Centre for the Protection of Civil Liberties in Cyberspace. In this article he is sharing his views about the proposed Lokpal Bill. The views and opinion given by him are his personal opinion and not that of CJnews India or Perry4Law.

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act 2011 as Passed by Lok Sabha was the first step in the direction of brining Transparency, Fairness and Lack of Corruption in Government dealings. However, the proposed Law could not see the light of the day till December 2013. Now veteran Leader Anna Hazare has once again raised the issue and he is on fast at the time of writing this article.

Meanwhile many Activists and Social Workers have come to the support of Anna and there is tremendous pressure upon Indian Government and Parliament of India to pass the proposed Law as soon as possible.

I believe that Parliament Must Pass Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2011 tomorrow to Retain Its Respect and Legitimacy. I also believe that the proposed Lokpal Law must also be supported by a Whistleblowers Protection Law of India.

Political Parties have already seen the Power of Vote whose benefit was derived by a new party named Aam Aadmi Party. Now every issue is a “Politically Sensitive Issue” and no Political Party can “Afford to Offend Public Sentiments” regarding Lokpal Law.

Not only this, the very purpose of Parliament of India is in question. What is the Purpose and Use of a Parliament if it cannot pass appropriate and required Laws? Why a tragedy is always needed to wake up Indian Parliament? Do we have Separation of Powers in India any more? Is Indian Government really interested in making CBI Autonomous and Independent?

These are pertinent and controversial questions that need to be answered immediately. The Anti National Steps by Congress Government and their support by Political Party BJP have forced People of India to vote in favour of “Alternative Parties” like Aam Aadmi Party.

If Congress and BJP are smart enough they must understand the mood of People of India and mend their ways and Policies accordingly. I sincerely wish that the proposed Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act 2011 would be passed by Rajya Sabha tomorrow. I also sincerely wish that Shri. Anna Hazare would break his fast tomorrow for the common good and larger benefits of all. Time has also come to form a National Political Party under his Leadership as we need Good People “Inside the Political System” that needs a Complete Overhaul from inside.

Banks In India Rightly Rejected RBI’s Illegal Aadhaar Dictate

Banks In India Rightly Rejected RBI’s Illegal Aadhaar DictateAadhaar project is not only an illegal project but is also a very controversial one. It is a classic example of civil liberties protection in cyberspace. In fact, the illegality of Aadhaar project has already been questioned in many High Courts and the Supreme Court of India. However, the vote bank politics of Indian government kept it faithful to Aadhaar project even though it is unconstitutional and illegal in nature.

Finally, the Supreme Court of India declared that Aadhaar cannot be made compulsory for availing public services. Still the unconstitutional and illegal biometrics collection in India is still going on. Indian government has finally decided to introduce a bill that would provide a legal framework for Aadhaar project in the present winter session of the Parliament i.e. December 2013.

Surprisingly, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has suggested use of Aadhaar number/card/data by all new ATMs and point of sale (POS) machines. Clearly this direction of RBI is illegal and in clear violation of the direction of Supreme Court of India. That is the reason why Banks in India are simply ignoring the same and they are well within their rights to do so as RBI cannot force them to invest in illegal and unlawful projects.

Banks of India have to consider not only the legal aspects of Aadhaar but they have to keep in mind commercial aspects as well. The present infrastructure is well equipped to meet the requirements of customers and Aadhaar based ATM and POS machines would only complicate the scenario.

Recently the security and risk mitigation measures for card present transactions in India was brought into force by RBI. Much crucial security related issues have been ignored by the banks of India. Instead of enforcing the same the RBI is helping Indian government is expanding its e-surveillance projects. The UN Draft Resolution on the Right to Privacy in the digital age has been passed but India seems to be going in the opposite direction.

The best way to deal with illegal and unconstitutional projects like Aadhaar and to reject patently illegal policies of Indian government is to reject them out rightly and Indian banks are rightly doing the same. The bank customers must also support banks in their fight against illegal policies of RBI and Indian government.